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Structural basis for the recognition of the 2019-nCoV by human ACE2

By Renhong Yan, Yuanyuan Zhang, Yingying Guo, Lu Xia, Qiang Zhou

Posted 20 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.19.956946

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been suggested to be the cellular receptor for the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that is causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Like other coronaviruses such as the SARS-CoV, the 2019-nCoV uses the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the surface spike glycoprotein (S protein) to engage ACE2. We most recently determined the structure of the full-length human ACE2 in complex with a neutral amino acid transporter BAT1. Here we report the cryo-EM structure of the full-length human ACE2 bound to the RBD of the 2019-nCoV at an overall resolution of 2.9 Å in the presence of BAT1. The local resolution at the ACE2-RBD interface is 3.5 Å, allowing analysis of the detailed interactions between the RBD and the receptor. Similar to that for the SARS-CoV, the RBD of the 2019-nCoV is recognized by the extracellular peptidase domain (PD) of ACE2 mainly through polar residues. Pairwise comparison reveals a number of variations that may determine the different affinities between ACE2 and the RBDs from these two related viruses.

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